Agency head refuses to give NDIS completion date
THE head of the agency rolling out the National Disability Insurance Scheme has refused to put a completion date on the scheme, feeding fears it will not be complete by the 2018-19 deadline.
National Disability Insurance Agency chairman Bruce Bonyhady told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday the board's only concern was "taking as long as it takes to get it right".
Mr Bonyhady said despite some teething problems, across "all measures", the results of the first year of trials were outstanding, but there was more work to be done.
So far, the trial sites have signed up 5400 people in trial sites at a cost of about $32,000 each, but the completion target of more than 400,000 people signed up by 2018-19 is under review.
But Mr Bonyhady said he was "not talking about a delay" and "not talking about a slower rollout"; rather, the rate of growth may be lower than previously thought.
He said there were some parts of the scheme that could also be brought forward, including housing, and changes to data and information management made in January should help to speed up the roll-out.
But campaign director of Every Australian Counts, John Della Bosca, said any delay was out of touch with the community and many people affected by disabilities would continue to suffer without its support.
Mr Bonyhady said the agency also expected to release the next quarterly figures on how successful the rollout had been, before the end of the month.
He said a KPMG review of the current deadline was also expected to be completed in the same period, but he could not provide a specific date.